Saturday, January 21, 2012

Seeds 40% Off

We were just at Kmart, and they had Burpee seeds 40% off. Couldn't resist adding a few things to the ol' seed collection. I know some hardcore gardeners snub their noses at Burpee seeds but as much as I hate to admit it we have really good luck with Burpee seed.

We bought some cylindra beets, asian watermelon radishes, sweet basil, burpless cucumbers and bush cucumbers, some butterhead lettuce and some lavender which I have had very poor luck with in the past. 3rd time's the charm :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Argument for Rows in the Garden

One day when we have a garden in a yard instead of at the community plot we hope to have our own chickens, and this video just makes me want them all the more. It is also a good argument for planting in rows instead of raised beds.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Deciding When to Start Seeds Indoors

Every year I have an internal tug of war about when I should start my seeds indoors. I know we are in zone 7, and I know our first frost free date is near April 15 so logically I know I only need to count back the number of weeks to figure this out. But there is an emotional element to it too. I want to start growing I want to see soil and little seedlings sprouting up out.

This has led in the past to the world's leggiest tomatoes because they were sown in January and out grew the light set up long before the sun shining through the window sill was strong enough to help them out. But this year I lucked out because I decided I would start onions and leeks from seed and they need to be planted 10-12 weeks before frost free date which I realize is about now. I guess I have a reason to haul out the light set up after all. Huzza!

I  found some helpful seed starting links during this quandry which others may find useful:
Thrifty Fun's 4 Steps to Figuring Out When to Start Seeds Indoors

Harvest to Table's post on Seed Starting in January

The Vegetable Garden's Zone 7-8 Planting Schedule

Friday, January 13, 2012

What is Going in the Garden in 2012?

Our oddly temperate winter weather has had me thinking a lot about the garden lately, so I figured I might as well put that to good use and plan out our 2012 garden. Some noteable changes over the last few year is that we are nixing the peppers. Only the hubby eats them and they have such nice ones at the farmer's market and in our CSA that it seems a shame to waste the space on them. We are also going to try pumpkins again at the end of the summer (but this time under heavily fortified row covers to keep the cucumber beetles and vine borer at bay). Finally we are going to try growing onions from seeds rather than from sets. We'll see how we do.

In the list below the asterisk "*" indicates that it will be started indoors.

Bean, Brittle Wax (Bush Wax) -OP- Burpee -52 days
Bean, Burpee's Stringless Green Pod- F1 - Burpee-50days
Kohlrabi, Early White Vienna – Baker Creek - OP
Climbers (Peas and Cukes):
Pea, Shelling (Burpeeana Early)-Burpee - 63 days
Pea, Super Sugar Snap (edible podded) - Burpee – 64 days
*Cucumber, Burpless Beauty – Burpee – F1- 60 days
*Cucumber, Bush Champion - Burpee - F1 - 55 days
Gourds and Pumpkins:
*Winter Squash, Early Butternut (bush habit) – John Scheepers – 82 days
*Basil, Greek - Burpee Fordhook Collection                        
*Basil, Lime- Burpee Fordhook Collection            
*Basil, Genovese – Baker Creek
*Basil, Sweet - Burpee
*Bee Balm, Lemon – Baker Creek            
Chamomile, Organic German ( but actually roman)-Garden's Alive-OP- Perennial
Chamomile, Bodegold – John Scheepers - Perennial        
Chives, Common- Burpee-Perennial                      
*Cilantro, Slo-bolt – Baker Creek             
*Echineacea, Majestic Coneflower Mixture- John Scheepers- Perennial
*Lavender, True - Burpee
*Majoram - Ferry Morse             
*Oregano – Burpee
Parsley, Single Italian Plain Leafed - Burpee
*Sage, Broad Leaf -Jiffy Smart Start
*Tarragon  -Ferry Morse
*Thyme, Common -  Burpee                
*Cherry Tomato, Blondkopfchen-SSE-OP- 75-80 days
*Cherry Tomato, Super Sweet 100 –Burpee- F1-70 days
*Cherry Tomato, Black Cherry- Baker Creek – OP
*Tomato, Cherokee Purple – Baker Creek – OP
*Tomato, Green Zebra-Baker Creek - OP             
*Tomato, Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge- Baker Creek – OP -
*Eggplant, Rossa Bianca – SSE – OP -80 days
Onion, Nebuka Bunching- Plantation- 60-65 days
Evergreen Long White Bunching Onions -Burpee- Perennial
Root Vegetables:
Beets, Burpee Golden – SSE – 55-60 days
Beets, Cylindra - Burpee - 60 days
Carrot, Nantes Half Long - Burpee - 70 days (sow for fall)
Carrot, Short n' Sweet Chantenay - Burpee - 68 days (sow for fall)
Parsnip, Hollow Crown- Burpee – OP- 105 days
Radish, French Breakfast – SSE – OP – 30 days       
Radish, Asian Watermelon - Burpee - 35 days (sow for fall)
Radish, Gourmet Rainbow Mix - John Scheeper- 23-30 days 
Turnip, Purple Top White Globe – SSE -  45-65 days (sow for fall)
Lettuce, Butter Beauty (butterhead) - Burpee - 75 days
Lettuce, Burpee Bib (butterhead)- Burpee 75 days
Lettuce, Parris Island Romaine – Ferry Morse – OP-68 days
Lettuce, Simpson Elite (looseleaf) –Burpee –OP- 48 days
Lettuce, Tennis Ball (butterhead)- SSE
Lettuce Mix, Lovely Lettuce Mesclun Blend (Little Gem baby romaine, curly Tango, cheeky red Lolla Rossa, crispy Summertime, Brunia red oakleaf, buttery Rouge Grenobloise and Merveille des Quatre Saisons) - John Scheepers - OP-30-40 days
Mustard Greens – Baker Creek ( sow in Fall)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 SEEDS!!!!

The Baker Creek seed catalog came and I couldn't resist buying some seeds to add to the trove I have in the fridge. This year's additions include Early White Vienna Kohlrabi, Assorted Sunflowers, Black Cherry tomatoes, Mustard Greens, Bee Balm (lemon), Genovese Basil, and a splurge: Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge tomatoes. Who could resist something called purple smudge?

And the folks at Baker Creek are so friendly. I accidentally ordered 2 Kohlrabi packets, and seriously, who can plant 800 Kohlrabi plants? I emailed them right away and they told me that my order already shipped but they would refund me anyway for the extra packet and that I should share it with a friend. I love good customer service.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Community Garden Plot in Winter

This year we planted Canola as a winter cover crop. Supposedly it has a long tap root that breaks up clay soil. I think we probably sowed it a bit too thickly for it to function that way but it is crowding out the weeds (which are thriving in our unseasonably warm winter weather) and gives the garden something nice and green to perk up the dreariness. This particular seed we got from Gardens Alive.

In other news, our invasive mint found a wonderful place to spend the winter: in the coldframe! You can see Lexy sniffing it out.

We finally got the Prime Jan blackberry corralled (also from Gardens Alive). We were very disappointed in this plant. It is supposed to bear blackberries on first year canes. Did it do that? No. What it did do was trail all over the place making a mine field of prickly thorns. This thing gets one more year and if we still have no blackberries, it is gone!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

More Happy Summer Memories

More pics that never got posted. Crazy onions gone to seed which became perches for happy bees, some chamomile, and fiery lilies.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Memories of Summer

I freely admit that I am a bad blogger since this is my first post since 4th of July, but as winter finally sets in here I wanted to put up some pics that never got posted this summer. These are some of our lovely tomatoes. The top ones are Green Zebras and the bottom are Cherokee Purples (aka my husband's new favorite). Since we were rather remiss in watering at the end of the summer, the sugar content was probably through the roof which I'm sure contributed to the great taste.